Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 3, 1620-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, videlicet, 25 die Aprilis,
Dying of Silks.
Mr. Baron Denham and Mr. Attorney General reported, That they did Yesterday (according to the Direction of the House) deliver unto the Lord Chancellor the Charge of his Lordship's Corruption, &c. in Writing, and required his Lordship's Answer; who said, he would return the Lords an Answer. Memorandum, That the Lord Chief Justice received a Letter from the Lord Chancellor, directed thus: "Unto Sir James Ley, Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and supplying the Place of the Lord Chancellor in Parliament by Commission."
And the Earl of South'ton moved, That the House be not concluded with this Answer returned from the Lord Chancellor, videlicet, that he will return Answer with Speed, but to require and receive a direct Answer from his own Mouth.
Debate concerning the Manner of Proceeding against the Lord Chancellor.
Message to the Lord Chancellor.
Their Lordships being Resolved thereof, the Lord Chief Justice returned to the Place of the Lord Chancellor; and then their Lordships Agreed, To send a Message unto the Lord Chancellor, to this Effect, by Mr. Baron Denham and Mr. Attorney General: videlicet,
The Lords have received a doubtful Answer unto the Message their Lordships sent him Yesterday; and therefore they now send to him again, to know of his Lordship, directly and presently, whether his Lordship will make his Confession, or stand upon his Defence.
But humbly craves Liberty, that, where the Charge is more full than he finds the Truth of the Fact, he may make Declaration of the Truth in such Particulars, the Charge being brief, and containing not all Circumstances.
Another Message to the Lord Chancellor.
The Lords sent the same Messengers back again unto the Lord Chancellor, to let his Lordship know, That their Lordships had granted him Time, until Monday next the Thirtieth of this April, Ten in the Morning, to send such Confession and Submission as his Lordship intends to make.
Conference concerning John Bennett reported.
The Lord Treasurer made Report of the Conference Yesterday with the Commons, touching Sir John Bennett; the Effect whereof was, That whereas the said Sir John Bennett, Knight, Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, being directed by the Law both what to do, and what Fees to take, he did both contrary to the Law, exacting extreme and great Fees, and much Bribery; some Complaints against him were opened, with a Request of the Commons, that they might send up more against him hereafter, if any came unto them.
Sir John Bennett's Petition.
The Petition of Sir John Bennett unto the Lords of this House, was read; humbly shewing, that he is kept close Prisoner, under the Custody of the Sheriffs of London, in his own House; and humbly desiring to have the Liberty of his own House, upon good Security.
Sir John Bennett to be admitted to Bill.
Whereas Sir John Bennett, Knight, this Day presented his humble Petition unto the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this High Court of Parliament, shewing, that he is now kept close Prisoner, under the Custody of the Sheriffs of London, in his own House; and humbly desiring that their Lordships would permit him the Liberty of his own House, upon good Security by him given; it is this Day Ordered, by their Lordships, That, if the said Sir John Bennett shall nominate unto this Court the Names of such sufficient Persons, that will be Bail for his Forth-coming, and the Court shall like of their Sufficiency, then, upon their Bond of Forty Thousand Pounds given here in open Court, he the said Sir John Bennett shall have his Liberty, or else he shall be committed Prisoner to The Tower of London, and have the Liberty thereof. And it is left to the Choice of Sir John Bennet, either to put in such good Bail as is required, or to be committed Prisoner to The Tower."
The Gentleman Usher signified unto the Lords, That the Committee of the Lower House attend their Lordships in the Painted Chamber, for the Conference agreed on at this Time. Wherefore their Lordships deferred the Hearing of Sir Francis Michell and Mathias Fowles until To-morrow Morning.